ZELLERBACH , U.S. merchant family. Its founder, anthony zellerbach (1832–1911), was born in Bavaria and went to the United States, settling in Philadelphia, in 1846. In 1856 he traveled to California and went to work for his elder brother marks (d. 1891), who was operating a bank at Moore's Flat in Nevada County. In 1868 he settled in San Francisco, and in 1870 established a small paper supply business, primarily dealing with printers. In 1882, with his son jacob c. (b. 1864), he founded the firm of A. Zellerbach & Son. Another son, isadore (1867–1942), known as I.Z., came into the firm in 1887, and the youngest, henry (1868–1944), joined somewhat later. In 1907 the company was renamed Zellerbach Paper Company; I.Z. was president. After World War i the company expanded into paper towel milling and newsprint production, and the holding company Zellerbach Corporation was formed in 1928 for financing and administration, becoming through merger Crown Zellerbach Corporation. In 1937–38 the corporation became an operating company. With its international operations and the expansion of manufacturing and marketing into containers, flexible packaging, and other innovations, it became one of the largest paper manufacturers in the world, with sales in the billion-dollar range. The family remains active in its operations.
Members of the family have been active in civic, cultural, commercial, and community activities in the San Francisco area. They have been directors of Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco, Mount Zion Hospital, the Concordia-Argonaut Club, the San Francisco Art Commission, and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. I.Z.'s son harold lionel zellerbach (1894–1978), a sales executive and executive committee member of the corporation, and board chairman 1956–1963, served as president of Congregation Emanu-El and was active in many other phases of Jewish community life in San Francisco. james david zellerbach (1892–1963), I.Z.'s eldest son, president of the corporation from 1934 and chief executive officer from 1950, was appointed U.S. ambassador to Italy in 1956 after serving in 1945–48 on the International Labor Organization and in 1948–50 as chief of the Marshall Plan special mission to Italy. Harold's son william j. served as president of Zellerbach Paper Company.
[Norton B. Stern]